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GIS library services: International GIS Resources

GIS - International Sources

  • Worldwide online mapping. Includes World Topographic Map. ArcGIS Basemaps are now available for free online!
  • Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) : The Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN).
  • CIA World Factbook : kml factbook uses Google Earth to display population, AIDS, Life expetancy and more.
  • DIVA-GIS : Free worldwide spatial data including administrative boundaries, roads, elevation, landcover and more. DIVA-GIS also is an open source software program for working with data.
  • Earth Atlas: Allows users to upload KML data for use with statistical content, background imagery using Google Earth. Worldwide online mapping including fertility rates, GDP, Life expectancy and more.
  • European Environmental Agency: Data and Maps : Access to European environmental datasets, maps, charts and applications.
  • GEO-STAT web mapping and data reporting: Géo-Stat combines statistics with mapping. Includes Canadian and USA maps with demographic data
  • GeoCommons: GeoCommons appears to be no longer maintained. The searchable archive is still accessible, but the newest files appear to be from 2012.
  • Global Land Cover Facility - The Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF) provides earth science data and products to help everyone to better understand global environmental systems. In particular, the GLCF develops and distributes remotely sensed satellite data and products that explain land cover from the local to global scales.Primary data and products available at the GLCF are free to anyone via FTP. Online datasets may be accessed electronically through the Earth Science Data Interface (ESDI).
  • Landsat Mosaic: World Data Set (Raster)
  • National Snow and Ice Data Center : Data sets include the atlas of the cryosphere, sea ice index, vegetation map and more. 
  • Natural Earth: Free worldwide data at 1:10, 1:50 and 1:110m. You can also use the Natural Earth Web Browser to view available maps online.
  • North American Environmental Atlas : North American map where many different layers of environmental-related data can be layered. Maps can be downloaded in a variety of different formats, and data is integrated with Google Earth Viewer.
  • NASA GIS resources : Imagery and SRTM for the world.
  • OneGeology Portal : Through GeoNetwork, OneGeology offers interactive mapping and geological map data covering the globe.
  • Socioeconomic data and applications center (SEDAC) - Access to Geographic Data and Data Resources:  links to several online GIS sources
  • United Nations GIS data : water resources, world soil database and other GIS data.
  • USGS Earth Explorer :  Access to Aerial photography, AVHRR, Digital Elevation, Digital Line Graphs, Digital Maps, Forest Carbon Sites, Global Land Survey, Landsat Archive, and Radar Imagery. This data is made available from the United States Geological Survey's Earth Explorer. This data would be useful for anyone interested in the geological aspects of the United States such as structural mapping of geological formations, and topographic mapping. As well as creating maps involving mineral resource information. This data is freely available to the general public. Restrictions involving commercial satellite images of certain sites are licensed only for U.S. users.
  • LP DAAC (Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Centre):Includes from all NASA centres. See links below for more specific data sets.
  • Global Data Explorer (USGS, NASA): Aster Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM). Search and select geographic area of interest or predefined region, repormat and download.
  • USGS GTOPO30 : GTOPO30 is a global digital elevation model (DEM) with a horizontal grid spacing of 30 arc seconds. It is available for free online. Archived.
  • Vector Map Level 0 : Also known as VMAPO. Digital world map, scale 1:1,000,000. Horizontal datum: VGS84, Vertical datum: mean sea level.
  • HealthMap - Interactive map containing information concerning disease outbreaks and health warnings worldwide. The data is freely available and easily accessible. It is a very useful and interesting service for anyone interested in the location of disease outbreaks.
  • World Health Organization - Public Health Mapping and GIS : The World Health Organization's Public Health Mapping and GIS tools, such as HealthMapper, The Global Health Atlas, and Remote field data collection tools in combination with a Google Maps power  HealthMap, which "brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health" provide significant statistical analysis of cartographic and database data sets regarding local health, that could improve global health.
  • World News Atlas : Daily news linked to world map.


  • GeoPortail: Web mapping service of the French government. Users can view high resolution images of locations throughout mainland France and its territories. French language only.


  • OSOpenData- UK Ordnance Survey open data. Free of charge, but users must submit an order form to get download access.
    • Strategi - vector dataset from 1:250 000 scale topographic mapping (shp file). Includes England, Scotland and Wales. Last updated in 2016; no longer supported.
    • Boundary-Line - polygon dataset of areas defined by administrative boundaries (shp file).
    • MiniScale - 1:100 000 scale topographic map
    • 1:250 000 Scale Colour Raster- topographic digital mapping product
    • OS Open Names - contains over a quarter-million placenames in the UK
    • OS Open Local - 1:10 000 scale street-level colour digital raster mapping.
    • OS VectorMap Local: 1: 3 000 to 1: 20 000 scale vector map files
    • OS Terrain 50 - vector-based digital terrain model.

United States of America

  • EPA Data : This website lists access points to the Environmental Protection Agency's available GIS data. For data from the WATERS (watershed assessment, tracking & environmental results) click here. For the BASINS 4.1 open source software click here.
  • Federal Government's Geospatial Platform : Explore featured maps and apps from all levels of government, create maps you can view anywhere.
  • Natural Hazards Support System : The GIS data available is information on all the natural hazards affecting areas in the United States. Interactive mapping of floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and weather watches. All of this information is made available from the United States Geological Survey. 
  • TOXMAP : Explore toxic releases and hazardous waste sites within the USA, interactive map.
  • USDA - CropScape: Cropland Data Layer from 1997 + from the USDA on an online mapping system.
  • United States Department of Justice - Regional Crime Analysis: This software is able to assist the assesment of crime on a regional basis; it can be used to map incident locations and general patterns of crime across jurisdictions.  The data is freely available.
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Geography : Includes TIGER/Line Shapefiles, current Census Geographic Products, LandView 6, Maps and Map resources and more. American Community Survey Maps. 
  • USGS - The National Map : Includes the National Atlas which includes agriculture, biology, climate, water and more (for raw data download page click here) ; US Topo - digital topographic maps of the USA;  and The National Map Viewer which allows users to create maps online and download. Maps and data from the old U.S. National Atlas site are also available from